Making A Difference That Matters

Stories that Inspire.

Victories to Celebrate.

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A series of tragedies, financial hardships leaves Vincent on the streets

Looking back at his childhood, Vincent recalls camping and spending summers surfing with his dad and three brothers. “He was a high school teacher, so he had the summers off, so we were just beach bums,” said Vincent, who added that his mom was a registered nurse. Vincent graduated from high school and then got…

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Serena ‘doesn’t let circumstances define’ her

Serena grew up in a household full of children. Her adoptive mother, a retired veterinarian, had adopted six other children. Serena, who came in at age 2, grew up with two older brothers and four younger siblings in their home in Long Beach. “I grew up with all of them,” she said. “It was adventurous.…

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Cindy is getting stronger, becoming a better person at the mission

Cindy was born in Colombia, but came to the United States with her mom and stepdad when she was 9. Their relationship ended, though, and Cindy was raised by a single mother. “Everything changed,” she said. “After that, I wasn’t really focusing in school. At the time, I didn’t really think it was that important.…

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Jose says the Mission has helped him ‘find himself in Christ’

Growing up with strict parents led Jose to push the limits as a kid, and it only continued as he got older. “I used school as an escape, a reason to do whatever I wanted,” he said. “In high school, I started skipping more and more. I remember once my mom caught me and walked…

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Joe: ‘I’m here to change my life’

Joe remembers when he was 8 years old, and for a couple of years after, learning about becoming a deacon. “I was a Christian and I’d go with my uncle and study,” he said. “I planned on being a deacon in the church.” But when he was 12, his parents divorced. “Neither of them really…

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Scott graduates after ‘hardest 10 months’ of his life

Scott is honest about his alcohol abuse, admitting it started when he was just a kid. “Alcohol was my first love,” said. “I never drank to drink. I drank to get drunk. It was a way of life for me.” He earned a scholarship to play football in college, but lost it due to his…

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Angel: ‘When God calls me home, I want to leave on a good note’

Angel was raised in an environment where drinking was the norm. It wasn’t just socially acceptable—it was expected. “I come from a social family where everyone drinks alcohol,” he said. “It was just part of the culture in Mexico, and it was part of my upbringing.” Angel moved to the United States from Mexico in…

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Maria returns to the Mission more than 15 years after first seeking help

Maria and her four siblings had a nice childhood with supportive parents, an active church life, and a strong education in Mexico City. “We had a good and healthy relationship with our parents—we were very lucky,” Maria said. “We had a comfortable living—my dad had several businesses, and he taught us how to be hard…

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Crystal And Her 4 Kids Find Peace, Support At The Mission

Crystal’s father died when he was just 24, leaving behind a 21-year-old wife and three young daughters, ages 3, 5 and 6. “He had a heart attack, and all of my sisters and I were present when he passed away,” Crystal said. “It was tough. There was a lot of trauma from the beginning.” Crystal…

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Danielle is Confident: ‘I’m Going to be a Success Story’

When Danielle was just 6 years old, her mother died of a heart attack. Shortly after, her father passed from complications of alcoholism. She and her two brothers—her older sister was old enough to live on her own—moved from Maryland to South Central Los Angeles to live with an aunt. “I call her mom—she legally…

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Geraldine And Her 2-Year-Old Daughter Feel Safe, Comfortable, Welcome

Geraldine was born in the United States, but grew up in Mexico. “I went there when I was a couple months old,” she said. “I always wanted to come back to this country and finally I had the opportunity when I was 17. That was 10 years ago.” Geraldine stayed with her grandparents for a…

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Tammy Says The Mission ‘Caught Me Before I Fell’

Tammy spent most of her life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but the desire for warmer weather and to be closer to her oldest daughter, inspired her to make a big move. But once in California, Tammy’s plans hit a snag. Tammy has three children: two daughters, 23 and 14, and a 3-year-old son. When Tammy and…

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